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of the solution. >> i think they really need to look at civil rights laws and be able to intervene more aggressively with mental health professionals when people show a consistent pattern of mental illness. i think you can travel through any city in america and see massive amounts of people who are not capable of taking care of themselves. as a society, we are not humanitarian when we leave them to defend themselves. >host: this argument is not new. it is highlighted in the extensive report in "the washington post." the chair of the senate judiciary committee, joe biden, we will hear from him. the witness testifies and next to him is sarah brady whose husband was shot during the reagan assassination attempt back in 1981, jim brady. still law was named after him. let's take you back to that hearing -- [video clip] >> life is completely shattered. my daughter's life is completely shattered. i don't know how many of you have taken a trip to the coroner's office to look at the most important person in your life with five bullets in their body. let me tell you, when they lie there lifeless,
with the assassination of john f. kennedy by using it to pass the civil rights act of 1964 and used the assassination of martin luther king to pass the civil rights act of 1968 better known as the fair housing act. >> so it seems like today, if you're looking at the assassination of bobby kennedy as being a tipping point for lbj, it seems like we have something similar on an emotional level here in the u.s. with regard to newtown and what's happened there. so if president obama wanted to take a lesson from 1968, what do you think he could learn from how lbj got the votes for the bill? >> well, again, lbj used the emotional tipping point, as you suggested, alex, to get this through. one of the things he did very effectively is he worked with great speed, with great swiftness in order to get things done. before the mood of the country turned to something else. it's interesting. if you look at 1968, mrs. johnson, lady bird johnson, wrote in her diary, there are so many people across this country who are asking what is happening to us. president johnson felt that as well, and that's when he moved on gun
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